Printing Services Now Available

Printing Services now available, Oodles and Doodles, OandD, printable invitations and party printables

After years of receiving printing requests on a nearly weekly basis, I’m finally adding professional printing services for all my invitation designs to the OandD etsy shop and at Oodles-and-Doodles.com.  With lots of beautiful, ultra premium card stock options (shimmer, recycled, linen, glossy, etc.), it’ll be super convenient for those looking for a non-DIY option with almost limitless paper options.  And, best of all, any quantity is available.  So no more having to purchase 30 cards, when you only need 18. Genius.

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Oh how time FLIES when you’re turning ONE!

It’s birthday season around here, and we kicked it off with the biggest one of all!  Our little guy just turned One and celebrated in style with an airplane-themed party designed just for him. Now, as you can probably imagine, birthday parties are a super big deal in our house.  Months of preparation,  lots of obsessing over little details, and lots of shopping go into it.  (And maybe, just maybe, lots of eye-rolling from my husband). So after all that thought, planning and hard work, I thought I would share some photos of the party … and more importantly some of my favorite party styling tips. But first, some photos of our little guy’s big day!  I can’t believe how fast the first year FLEW by!

And now on to all those creative Party Styling Tips:

1. Party Printables (and why I love them)

Of course, I love them!  After all, I spend a good amount of time designing them.  But, honestly, they’re the best.  Super easy, inexpensive, really versatile, you can print as many copies as you need…  Pretty much the only way to have a completely custom, pulled together, DIY party. For this particular party, I designed an airplane theme centered around how fast the first year flies by (because it does)!  And so my starting point was creating a sweet invitation with a photo collage on the back highlighting all of his milestones this past year.  Because, honestly, you never really tire of looking at baby photos of your own kids, do you?

2. Wrapping Paper as a Table Runner

Wrapping paper is one of my best kept secrets. Actually, come to think of it, I think it was my mother’s brilliant idea.  So here’s the great part about wrapping paper… it makes an awesome table runner.  It looks adorable, is super inexpensive, can be thrown out when the party is over (especially with all those little chocolate-covered fingers running around near the cake table), and can be used long after the party.. you know.. as wrapping paper.  Oh, and you can always wrap your child’s gifts in it and will get bonus points for being uber-coordinated.  Plus, I use wrapping paper all the time to line the inside of glass vases to make centerpieces, too. This is literally a tip that I use for every party I’ve ever thrown whether it’s in a house or a restaurant.  It’s so simple.  So here’s a photo of our son’s party with the wrapping paper (red and white polka dots) over a cheap blue plastic table-cloth.  And the best place to buy it?  Hobby Lobby at Christmas time.  They have the best, thickest paper.  (And most of my party kit designs include polka dots, so you can pretty much always find something to match).  The Container Store is a good bet too!

3. Pipe Cleaners to Decorate … pretty much everything!

Ok, so I’m slightly obsessed with pipe cleaners.  Remember in school, when you used to “curl” them around a pencil?  Yep.  That’s me.  Still doing that.  But now with my 4 year old.  He loves it too.  So I use pipe cleaners to decorate pretty much everything…  in centerpieces, on cake cutters, to tie favor bags, as extra decorations, you name it.

DSC_5366e with watermark DSC_5344e with wtrmrk First Birthday Boy's Airplane Party by Oodles and Doodles, OandD

4. Creative {adorable} Favors

I firmly believe you can’t have a great party without sending your guests home with a sweet little favor.  And so, this is usually one of those details that I obsess about for a long time trying to come up with the perfect, most creative idea.  And for this party, I hit the jackpot!  The most adorable printable suitcase favor box by Claudine Hellmuth.  I’m totally in love with these.  They are, of course, stuffed with hershey kisses in homage to our Chicago airport’s “kiss ‘n fly.”   Super adorable, simple, and inexpensive.  Each suitcase favor box is packaged in a clear bag, tied with a pipe cleaner and personalized favor tags from my Airplane Party Kit (along with a little extra flag in there too).  You can never have too many tags.  And, of course, there’s the perfect “Baggage Claim” sign from the kit to go with it all.

Boy's First Birthday Airplane Party

5. Not Just Water Bottle Labels 

Yup, those.  Now I have a ton of clients that never bother to use them.  Totally a mistake.  They can be used for lots of things!  First, of course, as actual water bottle wraps.  And here’s the tip for those: 1) don’t actually place on ice (they may run) and 2) print on Avery full sheet labels.  The entire page is sticky, so you can use it for any shape or size that you want and don’t have to worry about margins.  Genius.  Or, honestly, you can totally print them on white typing paper and glue the ends together.  It’s not exactly rocket science. But.. I use them all the time as wraps around vases.  Or, in this case, as wraps around some bar glasses to hold all my plastic utensils.  Of course you have to decorate those too!

Boy's Airplane Birthday Party by Oodles and Doodles, OandD DSC_5325e with wtrmrk

6. Digital (Scrapbook) Paper for Centerpiece Vases

This is another one of my favorite secrets.  Nearly every party kit that I design includes digital patterned paper.  And I don’t think most people know what to do with it.  It is the BEST!  First, it’s included in kits so it matches everything perfectly.  Next, you can print it just like normal and cut out any shape/size, etc. that you want (think: envelope liners, drink flags, cake bunting, back liners, etc).  But, my two favorite uses: 1) stringing multiple sheets together with cute ribbon and making a table runner out of it, and 2) lining centerpiece vases.  I think I pretty much use that trick at every party.  All you need is some cheap dollar store glass vases and a bit of creativity.  So here’s the centerpieces from this year…. matching digital paper printed and placed inside a glass vase, some shredded paper over a bit of styrofoam at the bottom of the vase, wooden dowel rods, cupcake toppers, an airplane graphic & ribbon.  You can find the super simple tutorial here.  Oh, and those Airplane party hats.  Those don’t really ever stay on little heads for very long, so why not use them as table decorations?

Boy's Airplane Birthday Party in Blue and Red by Oodles and Doodles, OandD

7. No Helium Required

You have to have balloons at a kid’s party.  That goes without saying.  BUT… I really despise having to go pick up helium balloons on the day of the party when I already have twenty million other things to do.  So this year I decided that I was going to skip the helium (but in no way sacrifice the decor).  And so I discovered balloon topiaries and balloon sticks.  Now, I always thought that balloon topiaries were beyond me.  I mean, I’m crafty but I have my limits… and I kinda assumed that was my limit.  Totally wrong on that!  So EASY! I mean so EASY!  You can find tons of tutorials online, but basically you just tie two balloons together, make a bunch of those, and then twist them all together into a ball.  (I know.. right… that should be way more complicated… ).  Apparently each topiary takes 12 balloons, but I was short, so the one in the photo is made of only 10.  Then I shoved a balloon stick in the bottom (found those at Hobby Lobby), and tada!  I’m making these for every party from now on.  I’ve finally found a decoration for those big urns outside our front door.  And, those balloon sticks completely fascinated all the kiddos since the outside balloons were finally at their height. And not one ounce of helium. Genius.

Kid's party decorations, balloon topiary for birthday, outdoor birthday decorations Birthday Party outdoor balloon decorations

Vendors:

Airplane Party Printables:  OandD Etsy Shop

Printable Suitcase Favor Box: Claudine Hellmuth

Smash Cake Photography: Carrianne Photography

Embroidered Birthday Hat: Dainty Couture

A brand new Oodles and Doodles!

Oodles and Doodles Party Printables

I’m SUPER excited to announce that Oodles and Doodles has yet another new home… on it’s very own website!  All the available designs are currently being uploaded along with some new fabulous photos, links to more resources, and lots of other new information.  (Of course the OandD Etsy Shop will still be up and running as usual).

And for our little Grand Opening Sale, here’s a coupon code for $5.00 off your purchase on the Oodles and Doodles website (good now through the end of November): NEW_SITE

So head on over and check it out!  Happy Shopping!

 

Our Little Noah’s Special Day….

Our sweet little boy, Noah, had his big Baptism day a few weeks ago.  But it all started many, many months earlier when I was pregnant with him.  Knowing that I would want a really special way to celebrate his christening, I got to work designing a Noah’s Ark Baptism theme all based on the most beautiful Noah’s Ark Music box that his big brother received on his Baptism day.  Little did I know at the time that I would end up having a little boy … and naming him Noah.  I guess some things are just meant to be.  The Baptism turned out beautifully, and the theme ended up being a perfect fit for our little one. I made up sweet and simple favors with a little turquoise grass on the bottom and lots of animal crackers.  How can you have a Noah’s Ark party without animal crackers?!

For centerpieces, I used one of my favorite tricks … dollar store clear glass vases and some coordinating scrapbook paper.  It’s a super simple solution for a centerpiece that coordinates perfectly.  Not only is it an inexpensive option, but you can use the same vases over and over for different events so you don’t have to store tons of vases in lots of different colors.   So here’s how it works:

flowers 1a

1. Purchase medium sized cylindrical clear glass vases. (I usually get them from the Dollar Store, but you can find them at craft stores and in floral departments).

2. Print out (or purchase) your coordinating scrapbook paper.  (This is one reason why I usually include digital paper in my printable party kits).  Measure the vases and trim the excess paper  off.

3. Roll the paper into a circle and place inside the vase … I like to tape the ends on the inside just to keep everything nice and tight in the vase.

4. Find a smaller glass or cup (I like juice glasses) that will fit in the vase.  You’ll want to use this to actually hold the water for the vases so that the paper doesn’t get wet.  Arrange your flowers and put them into your juice glass. (Hint: Purchase flowers from floral departments at grocery stores. We have a lovely store by us that will special order the flowers that I want.  Much less expensive than a florist and a much better option for someone like me who knows nothing about flowers or arranging them).

5. Place the juice glass inside the vase… and that’s it!  I like to decorate the vase either with a nice bow (and maybe a cupcake topper hanging from the bow) or in this case, I used some coordinating paper wraps printed on Avery full sheet sticky labels. I also designed some sweet little placemats with fitting biblical quotes for the event, and mixed and mingled the patterns for some extra visual interest.

 

I wish I was able to grab some more photos of Noah’s day.  It’s so hard to grab your camera when you’re taking care of a little one and chasing a toddler around and keeping everyone happy, but overall, it was a fabulous day!  And I’m so glad that my little one got to celebrate with something made just for him.

Printing 101: How & Where to Print Digital Invitations, Stationery & Party Printables

How to Print Etsy Invitations

I get LOTS of questions on printing, and I thought it would be a great idea to put ALL the info in one place!  It’s not hard at all to print party printables, but it certainly helps to know where and how to print. I’ve learned a couple tricks along the way that I’m happy to share with you.

Professional Printing…

If you would prefer to have your invitations printed professionally (and I know there are a lot of you out there), I now offer invitation & stationery printing (for my designs only) at the OandD etsy shop and at Oodles-and-Doodles.com.  All cards are printed at a professional photo lab with tons of available options. I’m super picky about card stock and fast shipping, so there are multiple premium card stock options to choose from (classic, shimmer, linen, recycled) with overnight U.S. shipping included.  Better yet, want matching envelope liners or return address labels? Just ask.

The DIY Method:

First, the basics…File Types
– JPEG/JPG files: Jpeg files are essentially “photo” files and the format to upload to a printer.  I also like to email jpeg files because when attached in an email they typically show up in the body of an email. That way a person receiving the email won’t have to click on an attachment to open the invitation.  This type of file is also what you would want to use if you were posting the invitation/card to Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, or any other social media outlet.

– PDF’s:  In my etsy shop and on the Oodles and Doodles website, invitations in pdf form are formatted two per page on a standard 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper.  This is done so that you can print two invitations at a time from one sheet of heavy white card stock and save on paper.  You’ll want to use this file if you’re printing from a home color printer or if you’re taking the invitations to be printed at an office supply store.  BUT, here’s the trick.. if you’re uploading to an office supply store to have THEM cut out the invitations or cards, then you’ll need to use the jpeg file. Some office supply stores may need to make the file a bit larger to account for bleed.  No edits are allowed to my pdf’s as they are all password protected.  Unfortunately, I have to do that so that my designs don’t end up being copied somewhere else.  You can download, save & print a protected file, but you can’t open it in any editing software (Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.).

A Word about Party Packages

I like to use a couple different methods to print my own party packages/decorations. I just find this is the easiest, highest quality option.  So for my own kids’ parties, this is what I do:

  1. Print Invitations – and maybe stationery – from a quality online printer.  (All my invitations are available professionally printed through the OandD Etsy shop or Oodles and Doodles).  This frees up your time from having to cut them all out and purchase envelopes.  More importantly, though, the quality will be far superior. The cards will be thick and you can print double-sided (depending on the vendor).
  2. All Other Decorative Items: Print from a decent home color printer or take them to an office supply store to print on heavy white card stock  (100 lb) or more.  A few tips: For home printing, be sure to set your printer to “Actual Size.”  For office supply stores: If you bring in your own card stock, they generally give you a large per page discount.
  3. Chalkboard Signs: There are a lot of ways to print these.  All my chalkboard posters are available printed and mounted on heavy matboard.  You can also print yourself from any office supply store.

Now On To More Printing Details: Printing Invitations 

  • Mpix.com – If you would prefer to print your own invitations/stationery, I recommend Mpix above all others.  They are first and foremost a photo lab, so they print photos/cards professionally.  They have a lot of premium card stock options available, offer rounded corners, and print double-sided. All you need to do is upload your jpeg files here.  Tip: When purchasing your printable files request files set-up with standard bleed to ensure no information gets cut off the edges.
  • Online Stationery/Photo Printers (ShutterflySnapfish) – Printing from these vendors is super easy.  All you have to do is find a full photo design (or an upload-you-own design) invitation and upload the jpeg file.  They’ll do all the trimming and will send you completely finished printed invitations and envelopes.
  •  Vistaprint.com –  Vistaprint is fairly inexpensive and does a somewhat decent job assuming you print on their upgraded linen or heavier card stock.   They are definitely not my favorite, but they do a better job than a home printer/office supply store. They have very odd sizing (for example their 5×7 is not actually a 5×7 at all)…. so, if you plan to print at Vista, PLEASE let me know prior to purchase so that I can format files appropriately.  (Otherwise, the files have to be completely reformatted, which does take a bit of time and you may incur an additional fee). To print, go here, look under the invitations menu, pick your size and upload your Vista specific jpeg file(s).  Caution: I do find that Vistaprint is very inconsistent with trimming, so I often have to request reprints.  
  •  Photo Labs (Walmart/Walgreens, etc.) – Use this option when you want to print on glossy photo paper (e.g. a photo invitation card).  You’ll want to upload the jpeg file to upload to their website or bring the file into the store on a USB drive. This is definitely not my preferred printing method, though.  Personally, I prefer Walmart. You can upload the files either as a photo (to print on glossy paper) or as an invitation (to print on photo paper or “stationery” card stock).  Depending on which option you purchase, you may need to purchase envelopes as well and can grab the standard white ones in their stationery/business aisle.  I do NOT recommend Walgreens.  They have never done a good job printing my photos and the color is always off.  Save yourself the hassle.

 

Paper Type
For nearly every printable party item, you’ll want to print on some sort of heavy white card stock.  For invitations and stationery, I really like a linen paper that has a subtle linen texture.  It just makes everything look a bit richer.   (I don’t necessarily recommend linen paper for photo invitations though). For other types of party printables like labels, you may want to consider using sticky label paper (like water bottle labels or sticker favor tags etc.).  I personally like Avery Full Sheet White labels.  You can print anything on these labels and cut them to the specific size.  I even print matching return address labels on them.

Envelopes  
Lastly… envelopes!  If you are printing from anywhere that you have to cut out the invitations/cards yourself (home printer, office supply stores from the pdf), you’ll need to purchase envelopes.  I recommend Walmart for standard white envelopes.  They’re a bit boring but super cheap.  For more colors than you can ever imagine, I recommend French Paper.  They’ll have every color that you could possibly ever need.   And here’s a tip… consider using some coordinating digital paper to create an envelope liner for an extra punch to any invitation.  All you need to do is take one of your envelopes apart a bit and trace a template.  I also always offer matching envelopes liners for all printed invitations upon request.

Here are the standard invitation/stationery sizes and corresponding envelope sizes:
5×7 – Use A7 size envelopes
4×6 – Use A6
5.5×4.25 – Use A2

A note about printers… I have found that at some point, every printer that I’ve utilized over the years has made some type of minor mistake.  Usually it’s in the scoring or the trimming being off.  In any case, the vendors that I’ve recommended have all stood by their products and offered free reprints with expedited shipping when necessary.  So, if you ever are disappointed, please don’t hesitate to call their customer service and have them do a reprint.

And one last piece of advice … Recently, I’ve had a ton of people ask me how to print their previously purchased printable invitations with trademarked characters/themes (mickey mouse, cat in the hat, etc.).  Do yourself a favor.  Don’t buy these.  Not only is it illegal and no credible graphic designer would ever use trademarked items in their designs, but no printer will ever touch them.  And… well honestly… no responsible small business owner would ever sell you something that he or she knows can’t be used.  

And so after all that it, if you’d prefer the convenience of having cards printed and shipped directly to you , I do now offer printing services (for my designs only) available here.

Hope this helps sort out some of the possible printing options!